An all-girl team from the Mapua Institute of Technology is the grand champion in the 8th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards, the latest edition of Smart Communication, Inc.’s annual search for the most innovative wireless applications by students.
Their project entitled “Wearable Obstacle Detection System and Braille Cell Phone for the Blind” stood out from among 142 other entries submitted by student-teams from Smart’s partner schools under the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP).
Mapua’s winning application is a dual-purpose wearable device that consists of an obstacle detection system and a standard cell phone with Braille keypad designed to allow blind persons to experience ease in mobility and communication.
Graduating Computer Engineering students Janiena Roxanne Dirain, Kristine Emy Matabang and Girly Perando, with mentor Ayra Panganiban, received their P500,000 cash prize during the 8th SWEEP Awards culminating activity held last February 22 at the SMX Convention Center.
The whole day event kicked off with an air-dance performance that preceded the parade of student-participants representing various schools nationwide. In his welcome message, Napoleon Nazareno, President and CEO of PLDT and Smart, acknowledged the schools’ active involvement in what he described as a win-win project for everyone.
Second place went to Notre Dame of Marbel University with “Smart E-mobilized”. It makes use of an android phone and Smart’s wireless broadband technology to minimize the time and effort when buying tickets at MRT and LRT stations. The team of ECE students Louie Jhayson Flores, Kingsly Alovera, Sheena Basilisco and Eusop Alim, with mentor Engr. Rachel Sucayan, received P300,000 in cash prize.
Bataan State Peninsula University secured the third spot with the “Aquamarine Solution to Salinity and Oxygen Using Wireless Technology” which can remotely monitor and regulate the salinity and dissolved oxygen level in fishponds to prevent more incidents of fish mortality. The project is a group effort by 18 students led by team leader Daisyrie Sangalang. They received P150,000 in cash prize.
Aside from the cash prizes awarded to the top three teams, equivalent amounts in the form of grants were given to their respective schools. The other seven finalists each received P30,000.
Prototypes of the final 10 wireless applications were evaluated by this year’s board of judges led by Jojo Flores, Co-founder and Vice President for Operations of the Plug and Play Tech Center, together with Earl Valencia of Smart Strategic Business Development, Hans Alvarez of Smart Technical Services Division, and Smart Consultant Liesl Lim.
In a new category that promoted the development of mobile applications, Bataan Peninsula State University sealed the win with their entry “Palay Quality Checker through Leaf Coloration by Image Analysis”. The application is designed to assess palay quality by conducting a series of leaf color examination through a mobile application using android technology.
The team led by Maria Crizele De Jesus and members Alejandro Garcia, Jr., Jun Alvin Galang, Jairus Fernando and McJefren Quiñones took home P100,000 in cash prize.
Runner-up teams from Ateneo de Manila University and Ateneo de Naga University, received P25,000 cash prize each for their respective entries “Smart SHOPerone” and “Taxi Ko”.
The theme for the 8th SWEEP Awards, for both the main category and mobile application category, is “Innovation in the Palm of Your Hand”.
Also featured was the much anticipated PalaECEpan quiz bee, jointly hosted by Smart and the Institute of Electronic Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP). This year’s PalaECEpan champion is Timothy Amado from the Technological University of the Philippines – Manila. He won P40,000 in cash prize.
Since 2004, Smart has been holding the SWEEP Awards to promote a culture of innovation and excellence in wireless applications development among partner schools under SWEEP, an industry-academe partnership that seeks to raise the level of technology and engineering education in the country.